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Friday, May 20, 2022

Two middlemen arrested in Pune kidney transplant malpractice case

The other accused in the case, including Ruby Hall Clinic doctors, the patient who received the kidney, and the unrelated donor who was passed off as his wife--are yet to be arrested.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: May 14, 2022 7:50:26 am
The FIR was filed based on a complaint by Dr Sanjog Kadam, deputy director of medical services. (File)

Police have arrested the two middlemen over the alleged malpractices in a kidney transplant conducted at Pune’s Ruby Hall Clinic in March in which an unrelated woman was allegedly presented as the organ receiver’s wife and promised Rs 15 lakh in return.

Late on Thursday, the Koregaon Park police picked up the two middlemen identified as Ravi Rodge (41) and Abhijit Gathne (36), both residents of Pune. They were initially identified, however, as Ravi Gaikwad and Abhijit Madne in the first information report lodged in the case.

Among the 15 people named in the FIR are the hospital’s managing trustee, Dr Purvez K Grant, deputy medical director Dr Rebecca John, legal advisor Manjusha Kulkarni, nephrologist Dr Abhay Sadre, urologists Dr Bhupat Bhati and Dr Himesh Gandhi and transplant coordinator Surekha Joshi. The police also booked the two middlemen, the patient—from Pimpri Chinchwad’s Moshi area—who received the kidney, his wife, their three family members, the woman from Kolhapur who was allegedly passed off as the patient’s wife to become the donor.

The FIR was filed based on a complaint given by Dr Sanjog Kadam, deputy director of medical services in Pune.

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A senior police officer said, “The primary probe suggests that Rodge and Gathne connected the Kolhapur woman with the Moshi man’s family and is also believed to have played a key role in completing the paperwork, which involved presenting the woman as the patient’s wife. We are also investigating whether these two have been involved in any other such malpractices. As part of the probe, we are looking into the paperwork that went into the case and the health department’s findings. We are also working one some other clues that are emerging.”

Senior inspector VB Vetal of the Koregaon Park police station said Gathne and Rodge were on Friday produced before a court and remanded in police custody till May 18.

The case pertains to a kidney swap procedure, also known as paired kidney exchange, between the Moshi man and the Kolhapur woman and a mother-daughter duo from Baramati. While the Baramati mother’s kidney was given to the Moshi resident, the Kolhapur woman’s kidney was given to the Baramati daughter. While kidney swapping is allowed after fulfilment of all legal norms, any financial transaction for doing so is illegal. The police have invoked provisions of the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, along with Indian Penal Code sections pertaining to cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

However, Ruby Hall Clinic’s managing trustee Dr Grant, an accused in the case, told The Indian Express the hospital had not done anything wrong. “Ruby Hall has done nothing wrong. We are being unnecessarily harassed,” he said on Thursday.

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